How did the tea party form? What were the major milestones? Brought to you by ColorLines.com
Created by ColorLines on Apr 13, 2010
Last updated: 04/15/10 at 04:03 PM
As 2010 Tea Party Tax Day rallies kick off, supporters argue that no video shows protestors calling congress members "nigger" and, thus, they are not racist. Mainstream media debates the point.
Host Neil Cavuto says of the Tea Party protests On "Your World with Neil Cavuto", “We'll continue covering this because, guys, here at Fox our view is very simple on this stuff, and we don't pick and choose what events we cover. If this has a magnitude and a populous support that this does, just as a Million Man March, or a march on Washington, this is big.”
Sean Hannity asks viewers to send in their Tea Party videos, saying “Film it, save it to your video – the computer. Download it to us.” Glenn Back suggests that viewers “celebrate with Fox News” during the Tea Party Tax Day protests.
Fox News host urges viewers to come out for the Tea Party Tax Day rally.
Glenn Beck tells viewers, “On April 15, Tax Day, there are going to tea parties all across the country and this program wants to be part of it.”
RNC leadership rejects a “joint civility” statement to publicly condemn Tea Party violence.
Sarah Palin publishes a map on Facebook in which electorally vulnerable Democrats who voted for health care reform are marked with a gun target.
Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King makes slapping gestures at a poster of Nancy Pelosi at a Tea Party Capitol Hill rally. Sarah Palin tweets, “Don’t Retreat – Reload.” Several congress members report vandalism and threats of violence at their offices. Despite criticism, Palin repeats the call to arms at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in April.
Angry Tea Party protesters scream “nigger” at Reps. John Lewis and Andre Carson, call Rep. Barney Frank a “faggot,” call Rep. Ciro Rodriquez a "wetback" and spit on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, among other violent outbursts during the final health care vote.
TaxDayTeaParty.com lists Fox News contributors Michelle Malkin, Tammy Bruce, and Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future as “Tea Party Sponsors.” Gingrich films a video invitation to attend the April 15 protests.
Sarah Palin delivers keynote address at the first National Tea Party Convention, asking the crowd, “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for you?” Palin's speaking fee for the event was a reported $100,000 and attendees paid as much as $549 per ticket.
Former Arkansas Governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee says, “Democratic members of Congress should be tarred and feathered as the original tea partiers would have done."
RNC Chair Michael Steele declares, “I’d join the tea party.”
Glenn Beck urges Americans to “grab a torch” to protest what he calls politicians' “addiction to spending.”
Glenn Beck elevates a Tea Party conspiracy theory about how two 1960s sociologists created President Obama's "strategy of manufactured crisis" to propel America toward socialism. The theory suggests everything from welfare policy to subprime lending have been orchestrated for the goal. Beck now regularly promotes the theory.
Tea Party leader Mark Williams called President Obama an "Indonesian Muslim turned Welfare thug," on Anderson Cooper 360.
South Carolina GOP Rep. Joe Wilson interrupts President Obama's address to Congress yelling "You lie!" Former President Jimmy Carter says Wilson's outburst and recent health care anger is about fears of a Black president. Carter is criticized widely for the remark.
On Clear Channel's “The War Room with Jim and Rose,” Jim Quinn tells listeners to “riot” if health care reform passes.
Tea Partiers show up to Obama rally’s carrying weapons.
Georgia Democratic Rep. David Scott, who is Black, has his office spray painted with a Swastika after publicly linking tea party with racist attacks.
Glen Beck jokes about “put[ting] poison in Nancy Pelosi’s wine.
A Freedom Works memo advises protesters to disrupt Democrats at health care town halls. Tactics include, “Inflate your numbers,” “Be disruptive early and often,” and “rattle him” to prevent an intellectual debate. Protests at the events turn ugly, including at least one congress member being hung in effigy.
July 4, 2009: Protests held to coincide with Independence Day.
Republican Governors Mark Sanford (South Carolina) and Rick Perry (Texas) plan a Tea Party sequel dubbed “Tea Party 2.0”, a tele-town hall that expected 30,000 participants. Both elected officials had previously attended at least one Tea Party rally in their home state, with Perry saying at one, “I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state.”
Tea Party supporters hold protests in more than 750 cities on Tax Day, replete with racially offensive signs, including “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery.” Crowd-size estimates vary, and are debated, but reports range from 200,000 to half a million. FreedomWorks and fellow lobby group Americans for Prosperity help coordinate and promote the events.
RedState.com blogger Erick Erickson, now a CNN commentator, asks, "At what point do the people…march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp?”
Glen Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires, suggests “driving a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich publicly endorses Tea Party, saying, “The American people are fed up with Washington’s irresponsible spending spree… “There are better solutions than big government and higher taxes to create jobs and get the economy moving again.”
HuffPo reports the RNC National Committee shows support for the Tea Party movement by offering supporters a page on its website and send a “virtual tea-bag” to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, or Harry Reid
Tampa-based consultant John Hendrix organizes one of the first Tea Party protests after Santelli’s impromptu call-to-arms, allegedly at the request of Tom Gaithens, field coordinator for Freedom Works, a conservative lobby group in DC.
CNBC Business News Network editor Rick Santelli criticized the federal government’s plan to refinance mortgages and raised the possibility of holding a Chicago Tea Party in July.
After making a campaign speech in Florida, GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin charges that then-Sen. Barack Obama's "palled around with terrorists" in Chicago, adding: "I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America." A supporter at the rally shouts, "Kill him!" A McCain strategist says of the campaign's incendiary rhetoric, "It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice...we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."
During a New Mexico campaign rally, GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain asks, “Who is Barack Obama?” A supporter yells, “Terrorist!” The crowd laughs. McCain fails to correct, or even address, the comment.